Mental Health

can I make you
understand
that my brain
is like a broken arm?
I need a cast
to protect it
and
at times
a sling
to support it

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Broken

I am not broken

We are not broken

Not a one

There is no perfect

No one so whole

But we have all felt broken

Or if not all

So many

That

Are we not the norm?

Do we not set the trend?

Do we not shape the world?

And so

We are not broken

But

Something is broken

What is it?

It is the lens

It is the mirror

It is how we see each other

It is how we see ourselves

It is how I see myself

It is point of view

And we broke it

We held it

And listened when we were told to break it

Because generations before had done it

Because our parents had done it

Because everyone else had done it

So we did

And I did too

But something happened

The view tilted

To an awkward angle

For a moment I could see differently

I saw between the cracks

I could see us

I could see everyone

I could see myself

Clearly

Unbroken

Now I try

Today

This moment

To hold it in my mind

To always remember

The truth I learned

I am not broken

We are not broken

Not a one

Despite Myself

I had a feeling I might get up way too early, but that’s what happens when you go to bed early and you’re feeling antsy. I spent a busy weekend working on my apartment. Purge, purge, purge. So many things have been thrown out. I wanted to do this before I found out and then after I found out it became a necessity. Found out what? This is hard to admit, but there are bugs in my apartment. I feel just about as awful and ashamed of this fact as I have ever been about anything, no exaggeration. I can tell myself that I’ve been sick and that this is a result of that but it doesn’t do a lot to make me feel better. I feel like a disgusting failure.

Dealing with this, and having to suddenly find the motivation to work through everything that has to be done has been very stressful. I wasn’t doing a lot, barely anything. I believe I mentioned I have next to no stamina? So that’s pitiful reserves of energy, almost zero functioning work ethic and bouts of apathy that suck all my drive to do things, no matter how important they may be.

And it doesn’t matter. Things still have to get done, despite myself. They have, I’ve come a long way in this cleaning process, but I’ve had a lot of help. If I hadn’t had my mom and my boyfriend (Jeremy) to help me with this purge I would have been screwed.

The frustrating part currently is that they were due to come in and treat for the bugs on Monday, so I plowed through the preparation with Jeremy here over the weekend to help, Mom coming in on Sunday, and a final push by myself to be ready Monday morning. Monday I left before they were due to arrive and didn’t show up again until well after the treatment was supposed to be done. I thought I was going to get home Monday night and find that things were well on their way to being normal again. No such luck. They didn’t come. They left me a note stating that they won’t be here until the 5th.

This might sound like I get more time to prepare, but really I was ready. Everything was thrown out that needed to be, everything else was bagged and the furniture was moved. Somehow, even with help, I had managed to do a lot of work myself. And now? Now I have to undo some of the prep in order to live here, without undoing all the prep that was so hard to achieve. And I have to be here, with a problem I barely see but I know is still there. I have to stew with this stress-triggering problem for a week.

So it spills over onto other areas, as things tend to do with depression and anxiety. I am cranky, sleeping a bit oddly (obviously, it’s almost 4:30 am as I write this) and feeling my creative energies are floundering. I am trying not to be completely pessimistic but it is certainly weighing me down.

I guess it’s a good thing that I am seeking out counseling. I’m looking to bridge the gap between me and what Dr. R can offer me as my psychiatrist. He is there to listen, in a sense, but on the whole he is there to establish my current condition, prescribe medication accordingly and guide me towards any other necessary steps. Counseling is not really his domain. I started to look for help for myself but if I can’t find what I need he is prepared to refer me to someone I can talk to.

This all has to do with that problem I mentioned before, the one I cried over for a while and then sort of calmed down about. It’s still relevant, and I’d like a counselor’s help in having to deal with it. I don’t mean to tease with this mention of an ambiguous “problem” but it’s still sensitive. I want to share it when I am ready but at this point I am still not ready. I think I would be more comfortable with it if the larger portion of it were resolved.

In any case, I am hoping to get in touch with a counselor in the next few weeks. There’s always the option to go to a walk-in if I can’t stand the wait, but I feel like I can hold out for now. Part of this may be that I don’t want to juggle the bug problem and the other problem at the same time. I feel like I need to compartmentalize in order to preserve myself.

Haiku Bundle

Sky Haiku

the blue in the sky
is really cold black space
lit up by the sun

 

Mind Haiku

stand with eyes open
open to the world today
look with mind open

 

Haiku haiku

Too many haikus
The world is thick with people
Trying too damn hard

Praise for my Sister

Grace is a super-hero. She saves lives. No, she really does. She works in 911 dispatch. She’s a supervisor and in her time working there she has coached people through many emergency situations, including women who have gone into labor. She could tell you more accurately what she’s gone through on a daily basis, but some of it she isn’t able to because of confidentiality and some things, well… people die while she’s on the job, too, that’s not the cheeriest of subjects.

[My immediate family consists of Mom, Dad, older sister (Grace), younger brother (Louis) and middle child (that’s me, Peg).  Grace is two years older than me, while Louis is two years younger.]

Grace is extremely resilient and an awe-inspiringly capable person. Her job involves incredible amounts of focus, quick-thinking and a cool head. She has all this going for her and it really impresses me.

We’ve gone through phases of closeness and separation as sisters. When we were little we were very close and played together all the time. We were the well-behaved girls while my brother was the one getting into trouble. We had separate circles of friends growing up but we had each other’s backs. Still, we had divergent personalities. We do even now, really. I have always been more abstract and less practical than Grace. This helps my creativity but leaves me lacking in functionality.

That’s the thing: Grace is high-functioning, but I’m certain she has her own mental illness that she deals with on a daily basis. At times this has been hard for me to sympathize with, as she used to make me feel like I was weak for needing help, and especially for taking medication. She has a way of plowing through life that I have never managed, but she used to make me feel like there was something wrong with not being able to cope the way she did.

I don’t get that sense from her anymore. I believe she has grown more accepting of our differences. It’s hard to know for sure, though, as most of her feelings she keeps very guarded. We were close as children, distant as teens and now as adults we have bridged the gap with a lukewarm friendship. I think we both wish it were better than it is, which is promising, but then again our lives and personalities are still vastly different.

This doesn’t stop me from admiring all of my sister’s strength. She has lived through some harsh experiences and I hope she continues to heal from them. She is a super-hero.

Old and New Problems

Cried over a problem I was having last night… I suppose I am still having it, but I don’t know that I will cry about it again. At least not for a while. I don’t know how universal this experience is but I find there’s only so much of one emotion available at any one time. They can have their peaks but they always seem to peter off. This includes good humor and tears. Sadness comes much like a storm, with stronger and weaker patches of activity. Eventually it is time for the storm to move on.

With emotions, the way they can wax and wane to me advocates their chemical nature. Chemicals build up and cause reactions and they also dissipate, lose their potency. I know this isn’t the only component to a person’s brain activity, but this interplay of chemical levels certainly seems to be relevant. It makes me wonder what else is responsible for the ebb and flow in my mind. Does it have to do with neurons that are firing? Do they only fire the same patterns so many times in succession before they “tire” themselves?

I did cry on and off while I talked to my mom on the phone last night, but ultimately the tears did stop and there was a calm, if melancholy, feeling that took the place of my sadness. The problem is still there, it hasn’t gone away. I’m not sure if I’m ready to share it. I want to ground it in more learned, detached opinions before I truly go forward. My mom and my friends have been great supporting me with this, but I feel it needs to be looked into by a professional. Dr. R is on vacation until Monday, so it might be up to me to seek out interim counseling.

Part 2 of the purge of the apartment was underway today and I am beat. It’s sort of embarrassing how little stamina I have. I don’t like feeling sapped of energy and it seems to happen all too easily. I suppose I need to find a way to level up my stamina. Something much easier to do in an rpg than in real life. I keep dancing around the issue that is my need to see my GP but I haven’t quite gotten the courage to do it yet. Also, other things keep popping up that feel more pressing.

What is making me drag my heels, exactly? It probably stems from having body-image issues. At the root of it, two of my physical health problems require ultrasounds. This basically means having a stranger press hard against your exposed body with a plastic object over and over. And it has to be the stomach area, to boot. Probably the place that I am the most sensitive about. I’ve had it done before and it hurts on top of that. It’s awkward, embarrassing and painful. I have basically built up a huge amount of avoidance towards this issue and it is not something I can easily surmount. For the hormone/pcos issue they even did an ultrasound already, but somehow no one knows where the results went, so I have to do it again. I am also very afraid that to examine my stomach concerning the reoccurring nausea that they are going to do an upper endoscopy. Yeah. Stick a camera down my throat. I am not comfortable with that idea at all.

Add to this that I have guilt about telling the GP that I haven’t had any tests yet and talking to her seems really difficult. Sorry Dr. V, it’s not really you, it’s me and my silly fears.

Elusive

the sense is silken

slipping by my fingertips

so I swipe the air

 

I never grab hold

I never grip firm

I never gain purchase

 

inside my skin

anchored to the ground

I am too warm

I am too heavy

 

receding from my shell

inside infinite space

becoming a restless wind

alighting from thought to thought

Irked

In and out of my head and not finding much there. Essentially adrift. I’m also not sure exactly how I feel about it. Should I be concerned? Something to mull, but I’m not going to get worked up over it. Mostly because I don’t want to add to the things that bother me. There’s already too many of those. Seems like my temper is on the rise under certain strains. I get caught up between wanting to complain and feeling like I ought not to. Maybe I shouldn’t be bottling things up, but I try to take it under consideration that people don’t like others to complain all the time. It grates.

On the other hand, what am I doing online at all? One assumes there is going to be a certain amount of purging feelings; otherwise it kind of belies the entire purpose. It’s a tug of war, between wanting to be heard and feeling like no one wants to hear it. But I digress, by a lot. My patience is thin lately, though that doesn’t exclude being exasperated with myself. It seems like I am having a hard time shaking the downbeat. It’s most of what I think of lately and it’s most of what I hear.

Why is it that I can’t let it slide? Why does it have to irk me so much? It’s grumpiness and I don’t like it. Seems to me my mom was having a similar problem. It’s almost as if the disposition is contagious. Maybe it is. Emotions certainly seem to have a tendency to be infectious. Some kinds more than others.

I don’t know if it’s a healthy attitude to have but I tend to feel like I would rather be impervious to such an infection. Of course this does mean cutting the good out with the bad. I don’t know, sometimes that seems like a sacrifice that I’m willing to make. That seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Aren’t we, as human beings, supposed to seek out pleasure and happiness? Aren’t we supposed to take the good with the bad?

Besides that, isn’t neutral existence really just another kind of bad? How can living devoid of the positive be any sort of good? Still, I find myself wanting it. I can’t help but feel that what I’m truly after for myself- more than happiness, more than pleasure- is peace. That’s what a neutral existence would mean to me. It would be peaceful. I can’t be sure that conventional wisdom would support this attitude. Though, of course, I have a general distaste in regards to convention, whether it is wise or not.

What Poem?

Just a little bit crazier today
please hide all combustibles and accelerants

I think I’m hearing pizza in sentences where it isn’t there
when the really weird stuff starts, I’ll let you know

Let’s keep this line in and see if anyone notices
this is getting schizophrenic at best

It was offensive enough to be funny
there’s a word for that, but it’s German

This will all come together in the post-production
It was rated G until I said fuck